Spam Folder: Gmail and Outlook

Goals

To provide best practices for preventing emails from landing in the spam folder in Gmail and Outlook. This research will help stop children's math program emails from going into the spam folder.

Early Findings

Best Practices for Preventing Emails from Going into the Spam Folder in Gmail

1. Make Sure that the Messages are Authenticated

  • Authenticated messages protect the recipients from malicious and phishing emails, making it less likely that they will be identified as spam by Gmail.
  • Authentication methods that can be used include:
    • Publishing an "SPF record" for the domain. This prevents the sending of unauthorized emails that seem to come from your domain.
    • Turning on "DKIM signing" for the messages that are sent. This is a very simple process that only requires that the recipients verify that the message was actually sent by the domain owner.
    • Publishing a DMARC record for the domain, protecting the domain from email spoofing.
    • Domain authentication helps to legitimize domains sending bulk messages, allowing them to pass through spam filters. Services such as MailerLite help with domain authentication.

2. Use of a Trusted IP Address to Send Emails

  • It is important to choose a dedicated IP address to send all the emails. A dedicated IP address needs to be used by a single sender, meaning that no other companies or marketers can send emails from it.
  • Sending emails from different IP addresses banishes the domain's reputation, making the emails land in spam folders.
  • When sending emails from a new IP address, it is important to build a reputation score by sending a few emails at once. This can be done by dividing the mailing list into groups with different recipients, sending the emails on different days or weeks.
  • On the other hand, using a shared IP address means that multiple mail senders rely on it. The activity of all the senders affects the reputation of everyone relying on the IP.
  • If a shared IP is the only option for sending emails, the sender should ensure that the IP address is not on a blocklist. Messages sent from a blocklist IP are likely to be marked as spam.
  • Postmaster Tools can be used to check the reputation of a shared IP address.

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